NBCPhiladelphia.com - Christine Maddela
Residents in Lehigh County were struggling to stay warm Wednesday night after equipment troubles led to a gas outage. UGI crews worked into the night to get service restored. NBC10's Christine Maddela bundled up with one family in Coplay, Pa., as they tried to get through the night a single space heater.
It was a cold night for people in a Lehigh County community Wednesday after gas heat went off for more than 1,000 homes following gas company equipment issues.
With temperatures fighting to break 20 during and expected to dip below 10 overnight, it was going to be a long night for many residents in Coplay and a small section of Whitehall Township.
Gas company UGI spokesman Joseph Swope told NBC10’s Christine Maddela what caused the gas to go off Wednesday morning.
“We had an issue at a regulator station which forced low pressure into the system and as we lost pressure we had to shut down the system… to make the repairs. That issue has been resolved.
“Unfortunately, and very unfortunately for our customers, it’s an arduous and time-consuming process to restart. You have to go in and literally shut down the gas at each home. And, once that’s done, to introduce gas back into the system and do a relight.”
The approximate areas affected by this outage include the Borough of Coplay in the area from the Lehigh River west to Ruch Street and Hokendauqua Street North to the area of Maple Street. In Whitehall Township, the outage affects the 3000 to 3400 block of North Second Street, the 3100 block of South Front Street through the 3400 block of North Front Street and from Ruch Street west to South 5th Avenue and Chestnut Street North to E. Columbia Street.
The gas company said the process of going home to home could take a while and that they are sorry to say that it’s likely some customers will be without gas until sometime Thursday.
UGI urged residents not to attempt to turn back on the gas and instead wait for UGI staff to re-start gas services.
The American Red Cross set up a shelter and information center at Coplay Center Hall on S 4th Street for residents trying to stay warm or looking for a place to spend the night.
Customers with questions should call UGI at 1-800-276-2722.